Committee Hails South African Innovations [document]

The Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology is very pleased with latest health technology innovations which will benefit many people. The Committee was introduced to these innovations during its visit to the South African Medical Research Council’s Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships (SHIP) centre in Parow today.

Chairperson of Science and Technology, Dr Monwabisi Goqwana, said these health technology innovations would save millions of lives of patients visiting hospitals. “As Members of Parliament representing the people, we need to encourage more investment and funding to these innovation projects so that we better our country in the technological innovation and provide excellent and affordable health care to all our people,” said Dr Goqwana.

Ms Nondwe Zama, SHIP project manager, said one of the essential innovations that SHIP was developing was a Point Of Care TB Diagnostic Technology that can detect if a patient is TB positive or negative. “The technology can be used anywhere in the country – at home or in rural areas since it’s not using electricity but battery,” said Ms Nondwe.

The Committee was also pleased to learn of another ground-breaking technological innovation – the triage innovation in hospitals was already operational at the Khayelitsha Hospital where patients vital organs and general health status could be assessed at the entry point and the results are immediately provided and this technology could help the health practitioners such as doctors and nurses to determine which patients need urgent medical attention.

Dr Richard Gordon, SHIP strategic and Innovation head, said the innovation of health technology could detect and screen patients for diabetes in such a way that it could tell a patient if they are likely to develop the disease two years in advance, so in this way preventative measures can be applied. Said Dr Goqwana: “These innovations, developed by our own scientists, should not be viewed as development for South Africa only, but for the whole African continent. I wish to appeal to the scientists who develop these outstanding innovations not to leave the country but continue to offer their good work to South Africa and provide this important service to people.”


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